Wednesday 28 September 2016

Palestinian protesters fire bomb West Bank tomb of Joseph

Published 16/10/2015 | 15:56

A Palestinian protester holding a sign shouts during clashes with Israeli troops near the border with Israel, in the east of Gaza City REUTERS/Mohammed Salem
A Palestinian protester holding a sign shouts during clashes with Israeli troops near the border with Israel, in the east of Gaza City REUTERS/Mohammed Salem

Dozens of Palestinians have thrown fire bombs at a West Bank site revered by some Jews as the tomb of biblical patriarch Joseph.

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Palestinian security forces extinguished the blaze early today. Footage on local media shows flames leaping from the small stone structure in the West Bank city of Nablus.

The tomb has become a popular prayer site in recent years among some religious Jews.

The arson comes at a time of heightened tensions between Israel and the Palestinians.

Over the past month, eight Israelis were killed in Palestinian attacks, most of them stabbings. In that time, 31 Palestinians were killed by Israeli fire, including 14 labelled by Israel as attackers, and the rest in clashes with Israeli troops.

Later, a Palestinian man wearing a yellow vest with the word "press" written on it stabbed and wounded an Israeli soldier.

The army said the attacker was shot and killed by other soldiers.

The attack took place close to a Palestinian protest after Muslim noon prayers in the West Bank city of Hebron.

The Israeli military said the assailant had "disguised himself as a news photographer". The soldier was evacuated for emergency medical care.

Israeli troops fired tear gas and live rounds as hundreds of Palestinians from Gaza approached a crossing into Israel, some throwing stones at the gate.

Palestinian health official Ashraf al-Kidra said one Palestinian was killed and two were wounded by the Israeli fire. A reporter for Palestine TV said a cameraman working for the channel was shot in the leg during the protest.

Protests have erupted repeatedly along the Israel-Gaza border in recent weeks, as part of the upswing in violence during the period.

Israel and Egypt have enforced a border blockade on Gaza, with varying degrees of severity, since Hamas seized the territory in 2007.

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